On Day 3 of MiD DAY's Meter Down campaign, we found autorickshaw drivers blaming their empty fuel tanks, neck sprains and fatigue for refusing to ply
Location: Chembur Station
Time: 10 am to 12 pm
Shivani Karadkar, a Marathi actor, said, "Since I was not getting a cab, I tried to hail a rickshaw. However, the auto driver refused to ply. If they want to refuse passengers, then why do they even bother halting?"
Pratibha Munge, who was travelling with her sister to Suman Nagar, said, "Thanks to the drive by the traffic officials the cases of refusals and arrogant behaviour among auto drivers have declined. Such campaigns should be carried out in the future too."
Good job: Commuters were pleased to see the drive against arrogant
auto drivers across the city
Auto drivers speak:
Eshwar Shinde, a rickshaw driver, said, "I am not afraid of the fine that is to be paid. Since my licence has been seized, the procedure to get it back will take at least 3 days."
Aijaz Shaikh, a rickshaw driver, said, "My meter was half down and in this case, a refusal is not considered."
Text: Faisal G Tandel, Pics: Atul Kamble
Get in line: Auto drivers were requesting commuters to follow the rules
and board through a queue
Location: Ghatkopar station (W)
Time: 9 am to 11 am
Offenders caught: 8
Prabhadevi Girja, who works at Powai, said, "This rickshaw crackdown is a great initiative. The rickshaw drivers have been bullying people for a long time. For the past two days, it has been easier to catch a rickshaw with the traffic police around Ghatkopar station."
Auto drivers speak:
Ganesh Prasad Yadav, a rickshaw driver who was booked, said, "The commuters forcibly enter the rickshaw and threaten to complain against us for refusals. And if we ferry them, the traffic police catch us for taking people out of the stand. We suffer both ways."
Damodar Tambe, a rickshaw driver, said, "Going to Marol is a big problem as the roads are in bad condition. So we refuse to go to these places. Our rickshaw wires break, we suffer punctures and going there causes a lot of losses."
"Kisi ne pucha hi nahi, tho maine ha bhi nahi bola, aur refuse be nahi kiya" (No one asked me so I did not say yes ,nor did I refuse.) This was after the rickshaw drivers drove past the entire rickshaw queue and got caught.
"Gas nahi hain." (No gas in the tank)
Talk to the hand: An auto driver argues with a constable after he was
"Gale mein moch tha tho main exercise kar raha tha, aur passenger ko na bol raha hoon aise laga," (Had a catch in my neck and exercising it. The passenger thought I said no) said Nadeem Khan, when he was asked why he refused to go to Marol.
Spot of bother:
The MiD DAY campaign has managed to knock some sense into auto drivers. John Aranha, a computer engineer working at Andheri wanted to catch a rickshaw on the wrong side of the road without standing in the queue. He, however, was asked to remain in queue by the drivers. "On any other day, rickshaw drivers would have agreed to jump the line and ferry me. But today, they actually refused and stated that there was a rickshaw queue and that I should stand in line. This made me feel a little ashamed, but at the same time I was glad that the rickshaw drivers were following the rules and we the commuters were not."
Text: Maleeva Rebello, Pics: Datta Kumbhar
Meter Down on Radio One
Aarti Tolani: The rickshaw walas in our locality Chembur are super rude! The universal problem is that no rickshaw wants to ply for a short distance fare.
And often they take a longer route or drive into a traffic jam just to get more fare!
Rajshree Vyas: I stay in Malad and yesterday was caught up in the unseasonal showers. I wanted to go from west to east. Normally, I use the FOB, but since it was raining yesterday I thought I would take a rick. However, despite seeing me drenched in the rain and pleading none of them were willing to ply. I had to wait for the rains to stop and then walk my way home.
Ninad Ghalsasi: I stay in Borivli and it's a fight of the quickest every day to get a rickshaw in the morning from my place to the station. Something really needs to be done to channelise the autos. I really appreciate the initiative taken by MiD DAY, Mumbai Traffic Police and Radio One and only hope that this will ease our everyday problems.